climate

Because you took advantage of a sinner

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A team of researchers has found that releasing excess heat from air conditioners running during the night resulted in higher outside temperatures, worsening the urban heat island effect and increasing cooling demands. 

{ Phys | Continue reading }

scan { Hans-Peter Feldmann, Catalogue, 2012 }

‘Life must be understood backwards.’ —Kierkegaard

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Does temperature affect economic performance? Has temperature always affected social welfare through its impact on physical and cognitive function? While many studies have explored the indirect links between climate and welfare (e.g. agricultural yield, violent conflict, or sea-level rise), few address the possibility of direct impacts operating through human physiology. This paper presents a model of labor supply under thermal stress, building on a longstanding physiological literature linking thermal stress to health and task performance. […]

We find that hotter-than-average years are associated with lower output per capita for already hot countries and higher output per capita for cold countries: approximately 3%-4% in both directions.

{ SSRN | Continue reading }

related { Ambient temperatures can influence the growth or loss of brown fat in people }

Krzysztof, a physics professor, has more faith in computers and logic than in God. It is winter. His son, Pawel, anxious to try out a new pair of skates, asks him if he can go out to the local pond which has just frozen over. Krzysztof determines that the ice is thick enough through a series of scientific calculations. Pawel goes skating, the ice breaks, and he drowns.

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{ Collapse of Antarctic ice sheet is underway and unstoppable but will take centuries | What Caused a 1300-Year Deep Freeze? }

quote { Krzysztof Kieślowski, The Decalogue I, 1988 }

In my heart it’s always 98°

It’s so cold

-Polar bear is kept inside at zoo
-Some states colder than Antarctica

{ AP | Continue reading }

A fugitive prisoner turned himself in because it’s too cold outside.

{ NY Post | Continue reading }

This is what we have heard from him and are declaring to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.

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{ How to fix global warming before it’s too late | Is it too late to prepare for climate change? }

I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him

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Analyzing data from 60 earlier studies, Solomon Hsiang from the University of California, Berkeley, found that warmer temperatures and extremes in rainfall can substantially increase the risk of many types of conflict. For every standard deviation of change, levels of interpersonal violence, such as domestic violence or rape, rise by some 4 percent, while the frequency of intergroup conflict, from riots to civil wars, rise by 14 percent. Global temperatures are expected to rise by at least two standard deviations by 2050, with even bigger increases in the tropics.

{ The Scientist | Continue reading }

What’s to be expected is 3 minus

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The unavoidable truth is that sea levels are rising and Miami is on its way to becoming an American Atlantis. It may be another century before the city is completely underwater (though some more-pessimistic­ scientists predict it could be much sooner), but life in the vibrant metropolis of 5.5 million people will begin to dissolve much quicker, most likely within a few decades. […]

South Florida is not the only place that will be devastated by sea-level rise. London, Boston, New York and Shanghai are all vulnerable, as are low-lying underdeveloped nations like Bangladesh. But South Florida is uniquely screwed, in part because about 75 percent of the 5.5 million people in South Florida live along the coast. And unlike many cities, where the wealth congregates in the hills, southern Florida’s most valuable real estate is right on the water.

{ Rolling Stones | Continue reading }

related { Global warming has slowed. The rate of warming of over the past 15 years has been lower than that of the preceding 20 years. There is no serious doubt that our planet continues to heat, but it has heated less than most climate scientists had predicted. | The Economist }

Into the eternal darkness, into fire and into ice

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Studies have shown that pleasant weather conditions (namely, sunshine) favor positive social relationships and improve moods. However, the effect of sunshine on one nonverbal expression that facilitates social relationships (namely, smiling) has never been studied. In a field experiment, men and women walking alone in the street were passed by a male or a female confederate who displayed a smile to the passersby. The contagion effect of smiling was measured. The study was carried out on days that were evaluated as being either sunny or cloudy, but precaution was taken to control the temperature and not to solicit participants when it rained. It was found that the display of a smile results in a smile more often on sunny days. The positive mood induced by the sun may explain such results.

{ Springer }

related { Sunscreen slows wrinkles: Will this evidence increase the use of sunscreen? }

Pyramids in sand. Built on bread and onions.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to use $400 million in federal funding to buy beachfront homes as he seeks to reshape the New York coastline so the state is better prepared for storms like Hurricane Sandy.

The cash would come from the $51 billion Congress approved last month to help the region recover from the Oct. 29 storm.

The governor would use the money to pay owners the pre-storm value of their homes. More than 300,000 houses in New York were damaged by Sandy.

Once sold, the houses would be razed and the land would remain vacant.

{ Bloomberg | Continue reading }

No. She does not want anything.

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Several experimental studies have shown that human social relationships are positively affected by the weather. Cunningham (1979) found that participants approached by an interviewer to participate in a survey were less reluctant to comply on sunny days compared with cloudy days. In a second study by this author the outside level of sunshine was found to be significantly related to the gratuity left by restaurant customers for a waitress. Hirshleifer and Shumway (2003) reported that sunshine level was positively correlated with returns on the stock market. Simonsohn (2007), examining actual university admission decisions, found that applicants’ academic attributes were weighted more heavily on cloudy days while non-academic attributes were weighted more heavily on sunny days. […]

Rind (1996) conducted an experiment in hotel rooms that did not have windows. A male server who delivered food and drinks to the rooms reported the sky conditions (sunny, partly sunny, cloudy, or rainy) to guests. More tips were left when the server mentioned pleasant weather conditions. In the study by Rind and Strohmetz (2001) a server in a restaurant was asked to either leave the backs of customers’ checks blank or to write one of two messages: that the weather would be good the next day or that the weather would not be so good the next day. More tips were found to be left by the customers when they were given a favorable forecast. […]

If actual or expected pleasant weather conditions facilitate positive social relationships, we can hypothesize that other behaviors, such as a courtship solicitation, are affected by weather. […]

Young women were more likely to give their phone number to a young man when solicited during sunny days.

{ Taylor & Francis | Continue reading }

They always build one door opposite another for the wind to. Way in. Way out.

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Berkeley Earth has just released analysis of land-surface temperature records going back 250 years, about 100 years further than previous studies. The analysis shows that the rise in average world land temperature globe is approximately 1.5 degrees C in the past 250 years, and about 0.9 degrees in the past 50 years. […]

Many of the changes in land-surface temperature can be explained by a combination of volcanoes and a proxy for human greenhouse gas emissions. Solar variation does not seem to impact the temperature trend.

{ Berkeley Earth | Continue reading }

Stick a fork in it

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A thousand years ago, the Doge Pietro Orseolo II took his triumphant naval fleet to the sea entrance at the Lido and ceremoniously threw a diamond ring into the water, thus marrying his city to the Adriatic and securing Venice’s dominion over its waters and trade routes. […]

When Goethe visited Venice for just over two weeks in 1786, he climbed the campanile twice, at high tide and then at low tide. It was from this tower that, at the age of 37 and already famous, he saw the sea for the first time in his life. […]

Now we know for sure that the ocean is rising faster than Venice will subside.

{ Aeon | Continue reading }

photo { Roman Noven and Tania Shcheglova }